Live the Dream
Student pilot wins spot landing contest
If you doubt the existence of natural-born pilots, Jacob Barson of Allentown, Pa., is likely to change your mind. He won a spot landing contest on May 7, beating out eight other seasoned pilots. He’s a student pilot. And he’s 14.
Not only did he come in first, but Jacob also drew the No. 1 position for the contest, held at Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport. He had to be the first one to test wind speed and direction as he conducted a power-off landing—and the other competing pilots could gauge his performance to help theirs. Read More >>
A GIFT for women aviators
Mary Latimer has wanted to help more women become pilots ever since she became one herself. She recently hit upon a strategy to help women succeed: Create a program that will help women age 15 and older advance their flight training. She and her husband, assisted by other flight instructors, will hold the Girls In Flight Training (GIFT) academy in July in Vernon, Texas. Read More >>
First Steps • Types of Certificates •
Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor •
Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Cessna 337 Skymaster
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Cessna Aircraft Company’s Skymaster series of aircraft. Cessna built approximately 3,000 Skymasters before production ended in 1982. The most popular, the Cessna 337, is a high-wing, twin-engine airplane with retractable landing gear. The Skymaster is an easy airplane to identify because its engines are mounted on the front and rear of its pod-style fuselage (most twin-engine airplanes’ engines are mounted on each wing). This engine layout provides “centerline thrust.” In the unlikely event of an engine failure, centerline thrust allows the pilot to focus on the loss of performance without also having to manage the directional control issues that a typical, wing-mounted-engine twin presents.
Ask a Pilot
What causes motion sickness? What are the typical symptoms, and how can I mitigate them?
Answer: Motion sickness is caused by the constant stimulation of the portion of the inner ear that controls an individual’s sense of balance. Usually the first indication of motion sickness is the loss of desire for food. Saliva then begins to collect in the mouth and the individual begins to perspire. Eventually, a person may feel nauseous and at times disoriented. During the early stages of flight training when student pilots are introduced to shallow banked turns, these new sensory inputs may trigger the milder symptoms of motion sickness. Over time, though, many of those people gradually adjust to the stimulation that triggered the symptoms and become less susceptible. This is particularly true of new student pilots who, after a few lessons, become accustomed to the sensations of the flight environment and don't have any further issues. Except in rare circumstances, most people eventually overcome the annoying symptoms of motion sickness. There are several steps you can take to minimize the effects of motion sickness both before and during the flight, such as eating a light meal before flying (nothing that may upset your stomach), being relaxed with your instructor, scheduling flights during cooler times of day, and keeping the airplane's air vents open. You may never experience motion sickness yourself, but now you have some helpful tips to share with others.
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 800/872-2672 or send an e-mail.
In the Blogs
Here are some recent posts from our Let's Go Flying blogs.
VFR communications for new pilots
By Jason Schappert
It's one thing to fly great, it's a completely different thing to communicate great on the radios. One stumbling block most new student pilots run into when learning to fly is how the heck to communicate on the radios not only to ATC but to other pilots in the uncontrolled environment. Read more >>
EAA AirVenture - Here I come!
By Arty Trost
Rain, rain, rain…and more rain. Only a very few brief windows for flying. I try to keep myself from severe flying withdrawal by reading anything to do with flying and watching movies featuring great flying. Then the phone rings. A good friend of mine in Tennessee has bought a Maxair Drifter – from a friend of mine here in Oregon. He’s going to fly his new Drifter home instead of pulling on a trail. But he doesn’t want to do it alone. If he makes a detour to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh – do I want to fly along? Read more >>
Aviation Calendar of Events
Airports all across the United States offer weekend activities, from pancake breakfasts and barbecues to car and air shows. Find out what's going on in your area. You can search by city, state, or geographic region.
2011 Air Race Classic
From June 21 through 24, more than 50 aircraft will race over 2,100 nautical miles from Iowa City, Iowa. to Mobile, Ala. Each aircraft has a team of two or more women pilots who enjoy the camaraderie and challenge of the four-day race. The Air Race Classic is dedicated to encouraging and educating current and future women pilots, increasing public awareness of general aviation, and preserving and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation. For more information, including a map of the race stops, visit the Air Race Classic website.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
The Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA's) annual aviation celebration, AirVenture, will be held in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 25 through 31. Over 500,000 aviation enthusiasts and 10,000 aircraft will arrive to experience AirVenture. No matter what your age or aviation experience, you’ll be informed, entertained, and thrilled by countless activities that reflect the spirit of aviation all around. For more information, visit the AirVenture website.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 7,000 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!